Business

1:44am

Thu August 28, 2014
Planet Money

A Mall With Two Minimum Wages

Wetzel's Pretzels employee Emperatriz Orozco hands out free samples at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall.
Steve Henn NPR

The Westfield Valley Fair Mall straddles two cities. One side of the mall is in Santa Clara, but walk a few feet down the mall, and you're in San Jose. In 2012, San Jose voters agreed to raise the city's minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour.

Philip Sandigo manages a shoe store on the $8-an-hour side. When San Jose raised the minimum wage, he lost about half his staff.

They went to the stores on the side of the mall that paid $2 an hour more.

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2:01pm

Wed August 27, 2014
All Tech Considered

Weekly Innovation: A Sad Desk Microwave For Your Sad Desk Lunch

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:02 pm

When not in use, this desk oven can be stowed upright and can serve as a whiteboard.
Steve Gates

Too busy to walk all the way to the kitchen to heat up a meal? The prototype for the BrainWave desktop microwave is the answer. It's exactly what it sounds like: a phone book-size microwave to heat up your frozen lunch, at your desk.

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5:00am

Wed August 27, 2014
Energy

Utilities Balk As Customers Embrace Rooftop Solar

Employees with Namaste Solar install mounting brackets for a new rooftop system in Boulder, Colo.
Dan Boyce Inside Energy

The cost of solar is falling rapidly – down 60 percent since 2011. These days, solar is not only good for the environment; it's becoming more of a smart financial move for households and communities.

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3:02am

Wed August 27, 2014
Business

Driven By Climate Change, Cotton Buyers Look For Alternatives

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 5:15 am

Unifi makes Repreve, a thread that comes from plastic waste bottles and leftover polyester scraps, at its Yadkinville, N.C., facility.
Courtesy of Unifi

VF Corp. is one of the biggest clothing companies you might not have heard of. But its brands include Lee and Wrangler jeans, Timberland shoes and The North Face, and it also makes uniforms for police and major league sports teams.

It's also a large purchaser of cotton. "We buy roughly 1 percent of the cotton available in the world," says Letitia Webster, VF's senior director of sustainability. Her job is to both reduce the company's greenhouse gas footprint and reduce its risks from climate change.

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4:01pm

Tue August 26, 2014
Marijuna

Brush Businessman Keeps Defunct Prison Pot Grow Efforts Alive

Colorado's High Plains Correctional Facility sits just north of Brush, Colorado.
Grace Hood KUNC

Brush leaders have blocked efforts from a local entrepreneur to turn an old prison into a spot for researching and growing marijuana. But that's not stopping Nick Erker from pursuing another path for approval for his plan.

"In the privacy of the voting booth, I think we're going to get to see how people really feel about this," said the Brush-based owner of Colorado Farm Products.

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